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December 17, 2020

Addiction: The Next Step 

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Bountiful Films was looking to create a digital media experience to expand the reach of Wasted, a book and CBC documentary about Mike Pond’s devastating battle with alcoholism and his search for new science and treatment to help those struggling with substance use disorders. The idea was to create an app for addicts and to use social media to drive awareness for the project. The Bountiful team approached Magnify to lead the digital media initiative.

The scenario was fraught. As is often the case with multi-platform projects, the traditional TV and digital media teams spoke different languages, operated with different business models, held different priorities, timelines, and work-flows.


Magnify’s market and audience assessment revealed a gap in online support not for those battling addiction, but rather for friends and families who support loved ones with substance use disorders. Collaborating with the Centre for Motivation and Change in New York, the Magnify & Bountiful teams developed a framework for an interactive guide offering therapeutic support via videos, available to parents and partners when and where they need it. Supported by the Telus Fund, Magnify worked with Switch United to create the first-of-its-kind guide, and, a hub that would house the interactive experience, book, documentary and support material.

The Magnify team created a comprehensive discoverability strategy for building audiences around the digital media experience, the book, and documentary. A full eight weeks prior to the CBC broadcast & launch of the Interactive Guide, search & social advertising, social media, a blog, and key influencer outreach drove traffic to, where users could view the trailer for Wasted, the documentary, access resources, and read the director’s blog.

A newsletter and SMS sign-up captured email addresses and mobile phone numbers creating an invaluable audience database enabling Bountiful and Magnify Digital to deliver additional content directly to digital devices during the broadcast.


With eyes fixed firmly on the shared goal of building audiences and changing the conversation around addiction, the DM lead, Moyra Rodger, and TV producer, Maureen Palmer, managed to navigate the challenges inherent when combining online and traditional production.

By the time the broadcast and interactive guide launched, had attracted:

  • Over 50,000 page views
  • 21,000 visits
  • Over 3,000 newsletter and SMS sign ups
  • Of those who opted in for SMS messaging during the broadcast, on average an impressive 44% clicked through

The project continues to grow audiences. Most importantly, the feedback indicates the content changes lives.

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